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Video: Nepal teen becomes world's shortest man

Altaf Qadri  /  AP
Nepal's Khagendra Thapa Magar, who is only 26 inches tall, will turn 18 on Thursday and will be awarded a certificate by the Guinness World Records for being the world's shortest man.
updated 10/14/2010 8:36:02 AM ET 2010-10-14T12:36:02

A Nepalese fruit seller's son with the body of a toddler turned 18 on Thursday and was officially declared the world's shortest man by Guinness record officials.

Khagendra Thapa Magar measured in at 26.4 inches displacing the former record holder, Edward Nino Hernandez of Colombia, who measures 27 inches.

Cheers went up when Magar was handed a world record certificate by Guinness official Marco Frigatti. The ceremony was held in a hotel in Pokhara, Magar's hometown and a popular tourist destination west of Katmandu.

"I can confirm that as of today Khagendra Thapa Magar is officially the shortest man in the world," Frigatti announced as he handed over the certificate.

Magar's family has campaigned for years to get him the crown, but earlier requests to Guinness were rejected because of the possibility he might grow.

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"We had to wait till he was 18 and became an adult," Frigatti said.

"We are very proud of our son," said his father, Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar. "We have been finally recognized and our dreams have finally come true."

Video: Nepal teen becomes world's shortest man (on this page)

On Thursday, Magar and his family excitedly welcomed journalists to their home, where Magar jumped on the kitchen table and made tea for the visitors and family members. He also received presents for his 18th birthday and danced to the sound of a toy drum.

Magar, who weighs just over 12 pounds, was tiny even at birth, weighing just 1.3 pounds. His father says he has no explanation for why he never grew taller — his younger brother is a normal height for a boy of 13.

Local doctors are stumped, but lack facilities for detailed testing.

Slideshow: Guinness World Records 2011 (on this page)
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Magar's doctor for the past five years says he has the body of a 3-year-old.

"His body structure is like that of a small child and he also thinks and behaves in that manner," Hum Prasad Newpane said.

Magar — who already travels as part of a dancing troupe when he isn't helping his parents in their fruit shop — seems ready for the media spotlight that will accompany his new title.

Next year he is to serve as a government-appointed goodwill ambassador as his nation celebrates Visit Nepal Year.

"I am very happy and excited," he said.

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Photos: Short notice

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  1. Khagendra Thapa Magar is the world's shortest man, Guinness World Records confirmed Oct. 14, 2010. The Napalese teen, 18, has a height of 26.4 inches. The previous record holder measured 27 inches. (Narendra Shrestha / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. A Nepalese doctor measures Khagendra Thapa Magar in front of a Guinness World Records official. The teen's tiny stature has made him a celebrity in his homeland of Pokhara. (Prakash Mathema / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Nepal's Khagendra Thapa Magar eats noodles at his home on the eve of his 18th birthday in Pokhara, which is more than 100 miles from Katmandu, Nepal. Magar's family has campaigned for years to get him the crown, but earlier requests to Guinness were rejected because of the possibility he might grow. (Altaf Qadri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Khagendra Thapa Magar, seen here Oct. 13, 2010, weighs just over 12 pounds. The teen was tiny even at birth, weighing just 1.3 pounds. His father says he has no explanation for why he never grew taller — his younger brother is a normal height for a boy of 13. (Altaf Qadri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Khagendra Thapa Magar — who already travels as part of a dancing troupe when he isn't helping his parents in their fruit shop — seems ready for the media spotlight that will accompany his new title. In this picture, he arrives to meet members of the media days before he was deemed the shortest man in the world. (Altaf Qadri / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Khagendra Thapa Magar is held next to a life-sized figure of Robert Wadlow, the world's tallest man ever, during a photo shoot in New York City's Times Square in September 2010. (Emmanuel Dunand / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Khagendra Thapa Magar, pictured when he was 15-year-old, gets ready to go outside in March 2007 in Pokhara, Nepal.

    Khagendra lives with his biological family and is also cared for as a family member by his manager who has set up a foundation in his name. He eats about 3.5 ounces of food per day. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Magar sits in the lap of a fully grown adult friend on March 2007 in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Magar is held affectionately by Padamkali, a close family relative, on March 12, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Magar poses for the camera on March 13, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Magar relaxes with Dhan Kumari, who is his manager's wife and acts as his second mother, on March 13, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Magar plays with some of his toys outside his house on March 12, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Magar holds the hand of a fully grown adult friend on March 13, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Magar goes on a ride to Fewa Lake with his manager, Min Bahadur Rana Magar, on March 13, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Magar fits into a handbag held by held by his mother, Dhan Maya, on March 13, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Magar cooks an egg in the kitchen with the help of Khan Kumari ,who is his manager's wife, on March 13, 2007 in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Magar plays with some of his toys outside his house on March 12, 2007, in Pokhara, Nepal. (Paula Bronstein / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Seventeen-year-old Magar stands with father Rup Bahadur Thapa Magar at his temporary residence in Kathmandu, Nepal, on June 10. (Narendra Shrestha / EPA) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Image: Khagendra Thapa Magar confirmed world's shortest man on 18th birthday
    Narendra Shrestha / EPA
    Above: Slideshow (18) Short notice
  2. Image: Junrey Balawing, Reynaldo Balawing, Craig Glenday, Filomeno Sy
    Bullit Marquez / AP
    Slideshow (48) Guinness World Records 2011
  3. Guinness World Records
    Slideshow (56) Guinness World Records 2010

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